Archive for July, 2009
It appears as though Maria Sharapova is getting back into her swing. Sharapova beat world No. 10 Nadia Petrova, although ‘beat’ may be a bit of an understatement. The word ‘thrashed’ has been thrown around with some justification: 6-1, 6-2. She has now reached the quarter-finals of the Bank of the West Classic in California. The Russian has been steadily improving since her long absence from the sport after a shoulder injury; this includes slowly climbing the rankings. She’s now ranked 62nd. This match, number 17, was also only her second successful one in the time since her return.
Elena Dementieva, Daniel Hantuchova and Samantha Stosur also made their way through to the quarter finals at Stanford, California.
Sharapova goes on to play the winner of the Venus Williams vs. Alla Kudryavts more »
To actually find anything in the mainstream newspapers or online about tennis results at this time of year, you have to do a bit of digging. I turned through page upon page about other sport stories; the golf US Open and the number of hip replacements between them; the Ashes tournament where England finally managed to beat the Aussies at Lords for the first time since the sport was invented; and it was even eclipsed by Steven Gerard allegedly elbowing a guy in the face.
But finally I found the tennis news. Wedged in the bottom corner between all of the other stories,
For starters, Robin Soderling overcame Juan Monaco of Argentine to win the Swedish Open title 6-3, 7-6. It was obviously an emotion win for the Swede; he claimed after his win that he wouldn’t have traded the win in his home country at Bastad for any of the Grand Slams.
There’s a lot of tennis news to catch up on over the last week or so. I guess even without a Grand Slam people are keeping up their busy work…
Nadal Coming Back From Injury
In my ignorance I forget to check the rankings after Wimbledon. Things tend to shift after a tournament such as this. This year, a complete flip of what happened last year occurred. In 2008, Nadal took the title and the world No. 1 spot. This year, at the end of the 2009 tournament, Nadal had to sit on the sidelines and watch as Federer took his title at Wimbledon and then go on to take his number 1 spot. I only just got used to writing that Federer was in the No. 2 spot, so forgive me if I make any mistakes over the next couple of months.
You can’t help but feel for Rafa. He put his all into last year and had a fantastic year; after much the same start to 2009, injury has dragged his performance and attendance at tournaments.
Ok, maybe not upwards. The Wimbledon final was a spectacular final (although compared to 2008’s it wasn’t quite that spectacular), so the US Open has a tough act to follow. Still, it is the following act, and Wimbledon has left us with some questions to ponder over in this break before the US Open.
First: Can Andy Roddick maintain his form?
No-one expected Andy Roddick to be in the final of Wimbledon 2009, never mind be in the final and not be trumped by Roger Federer in straight sets. He gave World No. 2 a run for his money, and for a while it was a little nervy for the usually in-control Swiss star.
This was at a tournament he hasn’t excelled in for a number of years, in fact last year he pitched out in the third round – one of his earliest points for a while. So can Roddick take what he has gained over the past year – particularly at Wimbledon and with his new coach – and use it to win th more »
Even some poetic license and an already poetic title wouldn’t let me get away with starting this blog: ‘It was a rainy day in Austin, Texas’. Probably better to say:
It was another scorcher of a day in Austin, Texas.
Returning from a family holiday after a dire low point in his career, Andy Roddick sat in the arrivals lounge in the airport of his home city. He had just lost in the third round at Wimbledon, and it obviously hurt. He had gone home to see have a serious think about what exactly he needed to do with his career.
And on the TV in that Arrivals lounge? The Federer/Nadal final of 2008 that will remain a constant reminder of the greatness of the game of tennis and its champions, but a match that Roddick had initially wanted to avoid watching. The humiliation of going out too early still stung. But, as so many were, he was drawn into that match and remained there to watch. And, according to Roddick, it was there that he decided to get back into his game.